On paper it was only a scrimmage, but don’t try telling the players that the game didn’t matter. Fort Lewis won a hard earned victory over RMAC rival CSU-Pueblo today 13-10. The Fort fell behind early 5-2, but once the offensive talent of the Skyhawks got rolling they never looked back. Thanks to dominating team defense and some great individual efforts on offense, the Fort was able to take an 8-6 lead at halftime. Excellent ball movement and clutch finishing by the Skyhawks kept the Thunderwolves from ever coming closer than 2 goals the rest of the way.
Hayden Pike had 16 saves to thwart a quality Pueblo attack. Sophomore Conor Henricks led all scorers with 4 goals and 2 assists, complemented by Jr. Max Segal’s 4G, 1A. Midfielder James Rott provided 1G, 1A, and So. Ian Bragdon added 1G, 3A to highlight the aggressive attack that peppered Pueblo with almost 40 shots on the day. Perhaps no goal was bigger than Fr. defenseman Mitchell Peterson’s lightning strike in transition that swung the momentum permanently to Fort Lewis in the 2nd quarter. Middies Nick Wallen and Dakota Andre rounded out the scoring with a goal each. Clears and faceoffs troubled the Fort, as Pueblo’s skill was evident in the groundball and riding game. Luckily for the Fort, their will to win was just too strong in the end.
This was the first game between these two teams since 2013, as the Thunderwolves folded their MCLA team last season and built a new NCAA Division 2 varsity program. Their new facilities and program may still be under construction, but the varsity program played up to their newly raised expectations for much of the game. No one knows for sure if Fort Lewis will ever join the varsity ranks of the RMAC, but it was truly a proud showing for the boys of club lacrosse to get their first win of the season against a varsity program. Next weekend the team begins the MCLA season with games against long time rivals Northern Arizona University and the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.